Far from simply setting a budget and leaving it at that, those of us truly looking to better manage our money understand that this issue requires constant attention, with budget revisits generally necessary at least every quarter to ensure ongoing adjustments and understanding. In the vast majority of cases, these revisits will provide peace of mind that everything is in order but, in cases of profit loss or notably increased expenditure, even a standard budget review can point to the need to cut back. Understandably, that can be an incredibly difficult reality to accept.
A reluctance to take notable action against a budget that’s growing out of hand especially stems from the fact that the idea of ‘cutting back’ is inherently rife with suggestions of going without. In reality, however, well-planned cutbacks could ensure the continuation of even luxury spending, and here’s how.
Find affordable alternatives
While luxury or excessive expenditure does require assessment for the sake of savings, it’s entirely possible to find affordable alternatives to items rather than cutting them out altogether. The most obvious example of this probably comes from an activity like food shopping, where replacing that regular bottle of wine or bag of Friday crisps with budget options enables you to continue treating yourself without feeling the financial sting.
Equally, replacing your vehicle with a budget option could see you saving significant amounts, especially if you first take the time to value your trade-in so that you understand your newly adjusted budget. That way, you can choose a more affordable, but equally equipped, alternative that maintains the comfort everyone’s used to. When applied to any aspect of your everyday, this alternative thinking could ultimately temper your budget, without flaring your tempers.
Consider the things that you wouldn’t miss
While it’s tempting to look at obvious treats like takeouts when we’re trying to cut back, it may actually be better to take a broader view of often forgotten spending that we won’t necessarily miss. Most often, this will take the form of subscriptions that we don’t use anymore or even things like monthly memberships to gyms, swimming pools, or clubs. By focusing our efforts in these areas, we could save a surprising amount, all without even requiring us to change our behavior all that much.
Find new ways to cover luxury costs
It’s also worth noting that, while budgeting typically revolves around a focus on where you can save, it can equally come back to new ideas for making money. Understanding precisely where your ‘luxury spending’ lies right now, for instance, could see you developing earning schemes including second-hand selling or a part-time side hustle like blogging. Then, you’ll be able to put this money directly into an ‘expendable’ budget that you transfer straight across to your main account to cover those costs that, otherwise, you may have had to go without.